A few months ago I hired Michelle Olsen to be my coach (read: doula) to birth some projects that I had been gestating for way too long. The recent launch of my Deepening Doula Circle is proof that she is more than worth the money I am paying her. I am a master procrastinator. I practically have a PhD in putting things off. With gentle structure and compassionate guidance, she held my hand through getting this exciting new program off the ground, within just a few months. I have been doing a little mentoring here and there for years, as well as teaching workshops for doulas on retreat with DTI for the past 2 years. Yet I had been sitting on launching this next layer of my work as a mentor, as if it was a precious golden egg that I was keeping all to myself. A precious good idea for “someday”.
Within just a few sessions with Michelle, I made the commitment to hatch it. My heart wanted so badly to share what I have learned over the past 17 years as a doula. I wanted to help transform the practices of doulas, to activate them to stand up for their own well being, for their own needs and creative visions as healers, nurturers, activists and bad ass conscious space holders. Yet, I kept getting stuck on feeling “too busy” and would say over and over that I “didn’t have the time.” Michelle helped me to carve out the time, hour by hour.
Over several weeks, I slowly gained the momentum to look at Facebook and Instagram a little less, and write a lot more. Now I am buzzing with pride and juicy enthusiasm as I put my new creation out into the world and see it transform from a dream into a reality. Now I see that not only was Michelle the person who helped me make this happen, but the way she has guided me through the process is strongly influencing how I am showing up to facilitate this mentorship circle. Thanks universe!
While we’re on the subject of Michelle, I just want to say that she is awesome and if you are feeling stuck in your career, she can help you get really excited about creating the shift you are craving. I can tell from all of the interactions we have had, as well as our professional affiliations, that she knows what it’s like to live a life of purpose. If you want to learn more about her, I recommend checking out her blog, where you really get to hear her voice.
“So much of career transition means sitting with the unknown about where you are going to land. I want my clients to enjoy the journey, not just hold their breath until they start their purpose work.In our culture, we have lost sight of our BEING because we focus too much on DOING. And the truth is, our bodies need rest; our bodies need to relax. It is from this place of being that inspiration arises.”
Maybe now you can see why I like her so much! She believes in stillness and relaxation as much as I do.
I have so much gratitude for how Michelle helps me integrate my spiritual practice into my work with my work! She really is my doula, helping me through these changes, one surge at a time with the fierce calm and gentle groundedness of a bodhisattva. Don’t we all need some of that? Sometimes people ask me if doulas get doulas for their births. I have always believed that everyone needs a doula, especially the doula! As doulas we see that receiving support is not a sign of weakness or ignorance, it’s a way for us to get to practice being vulnerable, open, soft and clear. It’s in this space that we can fully release, grow, heal and be joyful. Sometimes even yoga doulas doing all that deep breathing will fog up their own mirrors and lose the ability see themselves and their situation with crystal clarity. Michelle has pointed out several times the ways I have gotten in my own way.
And Michelle is not my only doula. I have several, at least one for each area of my life. More on them in future posts!